Hi y’all. I’m back in AR, USA now. I’m teaching again this year, but I took the year off last year, thinking I would not return. Alas, I was convinced to return to the classroom this year, and will likely stay until the Kitten has graduated in two years. (Can you believe my Kitten is a high school Jr?!)

While I was not teaching last year, I was selling health insurance, mostly Medicare. If you’re American, 65 or older, and maintain a residence in the US, you can take advantage of health insurance benefits you paid taxes for when you lived and worked in the US. I’m licensed in 31 states, so chances are good I could help you with this. And there are penalties for not getting enrolled as soon as possible (three months before your 65th birthday), so ask if you have questions.

And I KNOW this is reading like an advert. It kind of IS, but I meant it to be helpful. I never thought of anything like this while I was on the island. Taiwan was home and had great health care. Hell, Taiwan is STILL home, but I haven’t been home in a very long time. When I got the email notice about old Forumosans and trying to get them to post again, I thought about all the OLD Forumosans and how maybe they could use some information.

Please, though, feel free to do with this post as you see fit.

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Just to be clear, the penalties don’t kick in until three months after your 65th birthday.

If you’ve worked in the US long enough (ie, had FICA withheld and submitted by an employer) then you won’t have to pay a premium for Part A (hospital coverage). You will pay a premium for Part B and you will pay a lifelong penalty if you don’t sign up by the fourth month after you turn 65.

The penalties can be very severe (10% increase in premiums and you will have to pay 110% for the rest of your life).

I’m not disagreeing with anything you wrote, I’m just trying to make it clear that while you can sign up 3 months before, the penalties don’t kick in until after the third month after you turn 65 has ended.

This is correct. I just didn’t want to go into a lot of stuff if it was going to seem like trying to advertise. This is my first post in a year, but Forumosa used to be my online home of sorts.

And I guess I should add that not signing up for “creditable” drug coverage also causes a penalty that gets larger the longer you wait and will be in force for the rest of your life. The only way to avoid it is to avoid having drug coverage. Most Americans can’t afford to pay full price for drugs out of pocket.

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If you’re making a living selling insurance in the US, then hat’s off to you. Tough game. Easy way to starve imo. I always figured the way to go would be to get a series 6 license and learn estate planning on the side, with the goal of becoming a one-stop supplier of financial security (including life insurance). Can take years, but the most important asset you have is your personal credibility imo.

I wonder what the breakeven would be on this.

I don’t participate in Taiwan’s national healthcare since I have never paid in, it wouldn’t be fair to Taiwanese. I take medication for high BP, which I pick up in Bangkok when I’m there. I can buy a one-year supply of the non-US equivalent of Losartin for about US$110.

If I were to buy Losartin without a prescription in the US it would probably cost me around US$200 per month, give or take.

So assuming I’m willing to fly to Bangkok once a year from the US for no more than US$2,000, and pick up a one-year supply for US$110, I come out ahead by roughly $290 each year by not purchasing Medicare drug coverage. :thinking:

Joy of joys … another night in icu at China medical :cry:


If you’re paying for part B insurance anyway, you could get an advantage plan with a zero dollar premium that includes drug coverage for no extra cost. Your cost for your Losartin would then be whatever the carrier’s formulary stipulates, but most class that drug in the first or second tier, and it would likely be free–but you’d be unlikely to be able to purchase a year’s supply at a time. You could try, though. Get your doc to make a request.

I should say also that if you’re not using health care in the States, and don’t think you ever will, you don’t HAVE to pay for part B. You can choose not to have it at all.

And I’m NOT making a living selling insurance. That’s why I’m teaching again. But I do really enjoy it as an avocation.

Thanks, and good luck with the insurance anyway. If you enjoy it then stick with it. Insurance seems to be an area where word of mouth goes a long way and personal integrity (ie honesty) goes a very long way. Stick with it long enough and you could mess up and end up rich. :grin:

I’m actually lining up a hip replacement surgery in Texas next spring or summer (I turn 65 in July). I’ll be looking at advantage plans there in a few months, mainly because I like the idea of a co-pay with insurance rather than a co-insurance with Medicare original. If I understand correctly, I can get an advantage plan that won’t penalize me for having a preexisting condition (a no-cartilage hip), pay a co-pay for the surgery, and then drop it in January 2021 if I choose to.

Anyway, choosing Medicare alternatives is actually very complicated. I’ll probably look up a financial planner in Texas soon. I hope Americans who say they want Medicare for all know what they’d be getting into (at least on the front end).

I’m licensed in TX. Yes, you can sign up, have your surgery, then drop the insurance as you have outlined. Yes, advantage plans are not subject to underwriting–meaning you will be accepted with your hip as is. I can also help with a hospital indemnity plan to cover the part of your stay that the plan will not (most advantage plans charge 350 to 500 per night for the first three to five nights in a hospital). But I’m not a financial planner. I can write for various carriers with lots of different plans. Let me know if I can help when you’re ready.

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